We just returned from a very quick trip to western Pennsylvania... 2400 miles round trip. We took I-80 for the most part going, and several different interstate highways and side roads on the way back.
For me, this was my first trip back east since I was 15. I can't compare traffic to any previous time but I will say this... people that have to drive the super slabs of the east deserve hazardous duty pay.
I was amazed actually. I thought there was a lot of truck traffic on I-40, I-10 and I-5 in California, but nothing like the trucks back east. It's hard to imagine our economy is so bad when the ratio of trucks to cars on the roads I was traveling was probably close to 10-1... and by the way, don't slow down!
I-80 eastbound was a fairly busy road for trucks, but nothing like I was going to experience on my way home going the "southern route". Part of I-80 is toll road and I'm sure the trucks avoid it for the most part. All across Indiana and Ohio we stayed on the I-80/Tri-State toll road and traffic was actually much lighter than I-80 through Nebraska. Car toll was $27.
We started for home near Youngstown, Ohio on I-76 through Akron (tire town USA) Ohio, and caught I-71 into Columbus, OH. I-71 is where it really started, and it didn't let up until past Indianapolis.
We were driving a high profile vehicle so the 45 MPH cross winds and steady line of trucks made for a rather white knuckle trip for somebody not used to the traffic of the super highways. The amount of money it takes to keep the roads and bridges maintained is well spent since everything we get depends on those trucks.
Truck traffic has doubled in the last 20 years nationwide. A "freight tsunami" is on it's way unless something is done about our nations infrastructure according to this article that I think is worth the time... http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20091...
I have not seen what automatic spending cuts will occur when the "Super Congress" fails to make budget cuts and revenue increases as seems to be the forecast, but I hope highways find a way to keep funded going forward... I guess we must really need all the stuff those trucks are hauling.